Monthly Archives: July 2008

Quick Rundown of Comic-Con 2008

So Comic-Con came and passed so there’s a great amount of awesome that came out during the four day period so for those who didn’t absorb everything already, here’s a quick run down of what happened at Comic-Con International 2008:

Afro Samurai: Resurrection: Yes, Afro Samurai is going to premiere next Spring on Spike TV in North America, and Fuji TV in Japan. Apparently Afro gets tired of killing and is forcing to fight his destiny as the number one warrior. So look forward to more fast paced action and violent fight scenes.

Reason to Care: It’s Afro Samurai, what more could ask for? Well that and the villain is a well endowed woman voiced by Lucy Liu.

Watchman Movie: Okay so this wasn’t announced at Comic-Con it’s still awesome that it was there. I first saw the trailer after seeing The Dark Knight, and it looked amazing. Zach Snyder, the guy behind 300, is directing the most cirtically acclaimed graphic novel of all time. The movie, regardless of Alan Moore, looks really good. While I am slightly wary of Mr. Snyder, from the interviews of the cast and that sparkling trailer things are look really good. If you want check things out for yourself, here’s a link to some information and Interviews.

Reason to Care: The Integrity of all comic books are at stake here. If Zach can’t make a good movie out of this, then it’s proof that comic books are media best left to themselves, and thus they shouldn’t be made into movies. Or at least that’s Alan Moore’s position.

Heroes: They showed an entire episode of season 3 of Heroes at Comic-Con and I did the evil deed and spoiled it for myself.  It’s amazing. It has all of the spark and ridiculous cliffhanger crazy that the first season had. There are no stupid attempts at romance, and it looks as if they’ve corrected everything the second season did wrong.

Reason to Care: It looks great. I really can’t say much without spoiling it but that one episode was better than the entire second season.

God of War Movie:Unfortunately this happened. Yeah it’s another video game movie being written and directed by Rush Hour 2/3 director Brett Ratner. While the quality of his films is debatable, I did enjoy Rush Hour 3. I have no idea what this entails, as God of War never really had a plot in the first game. I understood it as more of a go into the next room and brutally murder everyone kind of game.

Reason to Care: Well God of War was a good game, whether it can be made into movie has yet to be seen. the real highlight is that it’s not being made by Uwe Bole.

DC Comics: Interesting how comics are lower on the list of things at COMIC-Con. Anyways DC announced a new book for Zatanna, a new Final Crisis comic called Resist, and Kevin Smith is doing a Batman miniseries called Batman: Cacophony. They also mentioned a couple of Elseworlds comic are due out before the end of the year.

Reason to Care: The Batman miniseries sounds good, and Kevin Smith isn’t too bad himself. I never really liked the whole bastardization of all the Crisis stuff, but Final Crisis is doing well for itself. Not much of reason here, then again I don’t read DC all that much.

Marvel: Okay so there’s second season of Spectacular Spider-man (surprise!). X-men looks good with their Ex Infernus (basically Inferno 2), and their Original Sin and Manifest Destiny coming along by September. Wolverine and the X-men looks pretty god as a television series, they announced a Hulk vs. Wolverine which will apparently be a much more violent version of that. Also a Next Avengers cartoon movie of all things. Of then that there wasn’t much on the Marvel side this time round.

Reason to Care:Well the Spectacular Spider-Man was pretty good so I’m looking forward to a second season of that, the X-men comic has been doing really well as of late with the Messiah Complex and its aftermath. I’m not too keen on the other animation stuff, but a violent X-men cartoon is well overdue. I haven’t seen Ultimate Avengers personally but from what I gather Next Avengers seems to be in the same vain, which might not be a bad thing.

Holy Movie Madness, Batman!

The Dark Knight is and was awesome. Everyone who saw it says so and those who don’t will never say so due to the fear of getting mauled by hundreds of thousands of fans. Regardless, Batman was amazing. Great sound, picture, story, and characters. Heath Ledger as the Joker was one of the best parts of the movie, and it really sucks now that he’s dead. The only negative is that there no laughing gas. I really wanted the Joker to use that madness-inducing “Joker venom”. Too bad I suppose, but the film did really well regardless and  he did give several deserving people his trademark smile.

All of this is really just repetition, so I won’t elaborate. I’m sure that ten thousand other blogs and their dog have basically said the same thing. The real reason I’m writing this is to explain the utter madness that occured because of the that movie. This movie beat out Spider-Man 3 of its title as world’s biggest cash cow. It also was much better than Spider-Man 3, then again that movie at this point doesn’t even compare to The Dark Knight.

I went to see the movie Friday, the day of its release. The midnight showing was sold out as I had realized the film was coming out too late to buy a ticket. After seeing the hype and increasingly positive reviews for the film, I try to go for the 7:00PM showing only to have it sell out the night before. I hastily buy a couple tickets for the 7:30PM showing and invite a couple friends to come along. We show up at about 5:30, two hours before the movie even starts. I took the necessary precautions when going to see a movie this hyped and went really early, expecting the theatre to be clear. “No one would show up more than two hours early for a Batman movie,” I say to myself as I approach theatre. Not even a minute later we see an inescapable line up of at least a hundred people eagerly waiting to see the movie. That was insane, completely insane, which in the end I should have expected considering irony of the situation.

Regardless the line up was a fun anticipation for the film. Everyone there was really enthusiastic about seeing the film and it helped make the Dark Knight much more enjoyable than it would have been had I not seen it Opening Day. Although it did require us to stand up for two hours.

The Canadian iPhone

Alright so early Wednesday morning Rogers, that magical media conglomerate, finally gave into the demands of the people and let up on the 3G iPhone data plan.  So behold the 6GB data plan! It’s 30 dollars on whatever plan you already have and then you get what is usually considered the unlimited deal in the US. While this does nothing to alleviate the fact that you only get 150 minutes at $60, a price which AT&T offers 450 minutes plus caller ID and 2,500 sent text messages at a two year contract instead of the Rogers three year package.  At least it shows that Rogers is willing to compromise somewhat.

However somehow I believe it has less to do with compromise and more to do with the fact that there was so much bad publicity surrounding them. It almost got to the point where it would be an embarrassment to enter a Rogers facility.  Not to mention a rumour about Rogers losing Apple’s support, who planned on shooting them in the leg by leaving them with only 10-20 units per store.

Although this is in effect a small victory in comparison of the other issues in the Rogers plan, it still shows that thousands of people ranting over the Internet are able to make even a monopolistic monolith second guess their decisions. So it wasn’t the deal changer that people were hoping for, but at least you can get the unlimited data.

What it really shows is how much the cell industry has to change in Canada. It shouldn’t get to the state where we are clamouring for a change. Rogers has gotten too big and has way too much control over this stuff. Worst of all wherever they go they kill everything that they deem to be useless or unpopular and replace it with their own standards. Everyone knew that the iPhone was going to be expensive in Canada, all our cell phone plans are pretty high in comparison to the states; however that does not give you an excuse to jack up the price further.  They tried to take advantage of the people thinking that everyone would just pay whatever price for an iPhone. They thought we were stupid, that we would just bark like dogs and pay up. What they didn’t expect was the extreme negativity. I mean this has spawned things like Rogers boycotts and petitions. Or maybe they expected this, and this is all part of their sinister plan to control the Canadian economy. Somewhere along the line, I doubt that.

Hancock’D

Alright so Wednesday I had that churning feeling in my stomach, which meant it was time to leave the house and watch a movie. So after some coercion from my friends I saw Hancock. I never really had high standards for that film, and by not having high standards I mean I expected it to suck. It seemed like a film Will Smith took part in simply because he was bored. Well, I was pleasantly surprise to find that it wasn’t terrible. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that great either.

poster

Big Smith is watching you!

Hancock seems like a neglected film. It’s almost as if the cast of the film was unoccupied for the summer and decided, ‘Hey let’s make a superhero movie! You can bring the cameras, I’ll bring the wine.” While the movie isn’t bad, it’s just not all that good either. A lot of it seems rushed. For example at the start of the film it’s the general consensus of the people of Miami that Hancock is an @#$hole; however after a single act of true heroism, they act like he’s been a great guy all along. On top of that the acting isn’t all that great and the humour is hit and miss at times, varying from extremely funny to slightly awkward.

Plot-wise it isn’t half bad. Will Smith plays a jaded Hancock, who because of his amnesia is a jerk. Through the plot he tries to better himself and eventually wins the hearts of the people. Okay so it’s a bit cliché but the film knows it. It seems they knew that it was going to be from the start and so they threw a couple punches at the traditional view of the superhero. The best part is the main villain is can even be seen as a throwback to ‘good’ old Dr. Claw. Also while it does try to explain Hancock’s origins, it doesn’t do so very well, leaving you with a lot more questions than anwsers.

In the end though the movie seems like a one and half hour introduction to nothing. It brings a couple good characters, but doesn’t really do anything with them. There seemed to be some sort of romance in it but it never really developed. Seriously though, I found myself enjoying most of the film regardless of how mediocre the movie can be. What I really want to see now is a television series or sequel or something that couple elaborate on the characters and introduce some new ones. In fact I would probably watch a Hancock sequel.

This movie really could have been a whole lot better had the actual movie been the first 45 minutes of it, while the remainder was some sort of cataclismic event. Maybe a little less cliché, but at this point what isn’t.

Lain’s Serial Experiments on my Brain

Alright so in April I went to Anime North. You know that anime convention, in Canada. Anyways while there I saw a great deal on the series Serial Experiments Lain. So I forked over 40 dollars and got the entire set. When I look back on that moment, I don’t know whether I should be thinking of it fondly or with cold resentment.

Let get this out of the way first, Serial Experiments Lain is awesome. That’s pretty much the best I can come up with. There aren’t many words that can effectively describe this series. It’s the strangest anime I have ever seen; however ttha strangeness is in good effect. It makes the plot insightful and constantly makes you second guess the truth. After the years of anime I have endured I have never seen an anime like this.

As I said there aren’t many words that describe the series. The most common word being mindf@*k. One of the main ideas of the series is that everything we know comes from our memories, which plays a big part in the show itself. Without giving away the plot, basically you could just as easily assume that the entire show was a hallucination and that everything that is said or done is a fabrication created by the titular character Lain. So the ending along with everything else that happens in the program is entirely up to your interpretation.

The show, depending on who you are, can be frightening and perhaps painful.  The show definitely left me with that psycho-horror chill on my spine, along with a sudden desire to smash my head against something hard. This shouldn’t deter you from watching. In fact it should encourage you. Rarely is there a show that can scare you the way a horror movie could without using violence or really anything all that scary. The concepts found in Serial Experiments Lain are horror enough.

Lain's thinking

However this anime isn’t going to be great for everyone. There isn’t much action, along with minimal dialogue. If you’re a adrenaline junkie thriving for a lot of action this isn’t the place to be looking. Also if you’re going to not like this series, don’t do it based on the artwork. That’s the least of your concerns. I personally enjoyed it, but only because I had the patience to finish it all.

The general idea, is to give it a chance. I must admit the first few episodes aren’t all especially appealing but  hang on to at least the third episode. At that point it’s easy to get hooked. Also the music is well done and the little dialogue there is, is done convincingly. It runs it the same vain as Ergo Proxy, so if you like that this should be welcoming. Then again if you hated that show, stay far away from this one. In the end I didn’t exactly describe Serial Experiments Lain, but there weren’t many words to use anyways.